What Can we Learn from Previous Shocks to Tertiary Mobility

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Image by Squirrel_photos from Pixabay

We were delighted to participate in a webinar hosted by the Center for Studies in Higher Education at University of California, Berkeley last week exploring  the extent to which COVID-19 might shape international student mobility.  In the first of three blogs, we explore how the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 might provide some insight into how sudden shocks can alter the trajectory of student mobility. The full seminar is available on YouTube

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Open Doors Report 2019: Things can only get better

To kick off International Education Week this past Monday, the Institute of International Education (IIE) released its 70th Open Doors Report outlining international student mobility trends in the United States during the 2018/19 academic year.  Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce commenced the release by lauding the nation’s status as the most popular study destination for international students, attracting more than one million international students for the fourth year in a row. 

The report also indicated that there was a decrease in the 6.6 percent declines in new international student enrollments (NSEs) in 2017/18 to 0.9 percent in 2018/19, evidence that suggests the two-year drop in international enrollments has stabilized.

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Do US Party Politics Matter to International Students?

Recently, some colleagues asked us whether there was any relationship between the political affiliation/control of states in the US and their success in attracting international students.  Armed with Gallup’s state political affiliation analysis, we had a look.

Gallup identifies five categories: Strong Republican, Lean Republican, Competitive, Strong Democratic and Lean Democratic.  Using those definitions we overlaid IPEDS data to identify the number of international students and the extent to which those enrollments have grown or declined between Fall 2015 and Fall 2017.[1]

In the maps below, the size of the bubble indicates the relative size of the international student population in the State and the color is aligned with Gallup’s definition of political affiliation.

So what are the findings?

  1. International students enroll everywhere but of the top ten most popular state destinations, six are either strong or lean Democratic,  three are designated as competitive (Texas, Ohio and Florida) and one, Indiana is designated as Lean Republican. This does not imply any particular political affiliation amongst students.   States with strong Democratic leanings are home to large urban centers with big concentrations of universities, including many of the Nation’s best known and highly ranked.  These large urban centers are also home to multiple language schools, large community colleges and generally offer strong employment opportunities.
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Global agent poll – a crystal ball for international education?

SEVIS, IIE, HESA, the OECD and Open Doors are useful tools for helping us understand the global distribution of students – and for establishing long term trends.  But they are not crystal balls.  INTO’s latest recruitment agent survey which polled more than 1800 counsellors across the world produces revealing insights into their assessment for future student enrollments in key destination countries. The survey, conducted in April 2019,  includes almost 500 responses from China, traditionally a blackspot for global polls of this nature – and making it the most authoritative China agent insight survey ever conducted.

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INTO Giving marks more than $1 million donated to education projects around the world

INTO Giving raising $1 million to help schoolchildren and their teachers was a gigantic feat. When we saw we’d reached that million-high orbit, a thrill raced through us. We knew we’d done something monumental.

That ‘we’. That ‘we’ is important.

We, in this case, means thousands of INTO students and graduates from across the world, thousands of INTO employees and faculty, INTO’s global network of agents, INTO University Partnerships and university partners, and INTO’s founder.

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An Existential Crisis – or Learning to Operate in a VUCA World?

“These are the times that try mens’ souls”

Latest SEVIS release confirms a decline in foreign enrollments in the United States

In 1998, the United States War College coined an acronym VUCA – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. It was designed as a conceptual model to help military officers understand the world – and has been popularized by the world’s leading Business Schools.

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Dive into our analysis of international students in the United States

Working with the latest release of SEVIS Data – March 2017, we have compared the number of students registered in the United States from across the Middle East and China from the same reporting period last year. We believe this is the most up to date analysis available anywhere.
You can analyze these data by state or by region. How dependent has your state been on Saudi Arabian students? And how have you been affected by those changes? What is the latest distribution of Chinese students across the United States? Who is vulnerable if there is a drop in Iranian students? Explore this with the interactive maps below

Middle East and Africa

China

About INTO

Every year, INTO University Partnerships helps almost 14,000 students from 120 countries and territories around the world achieve their dream of studying overseas.

We work with individual students, universities and governments through a sophisticated, multi-channeled marketing operation, providing the highest quality student experience – the heart of our mission.

Come say hello if you are at NAFSA in Los Angeles https://intoglobal.com/nafsa17 or contact Frank Merendino frank.merendino@intoglobal.com if you would like to discuss opportunities for your institution.

Sharing the Pain – Decline in Saudi students hits almost every state and every level of study across the United States. What next for Iran?

Most of us in international education eagerly anticipate the publication of Open Doors or IPEDS data. For those who can’t wait, dive into our analysis of live international student mobility data from the March 2017 SEVIS data release. We have analyzed differences in volumes of SEVIS registered students all over the United States. This blog and visualization focuses on students from across the Middle East and North Africa.
As most international student recruiters already know, diversity is the key to a successful, long-term international recruitment plan. Smart, forward-thinking universities are doing all they can to ensure they are capable of recruiting a diverse international population – but attracting students from across the globe is challenging for a variety of factors and the competition for international students will only intensify in the coming years.

Saudi Arabia

Our analysis indicates the decline in enrollments from Saudi Arabia has hit almost every state in the nation – with SEVIS reporting a 33% decline in Saudi students registered in California in March 2017 compared to March 2016. These declines are evenly spread across most states in the United States. Although it is particularly noticeable in the State of Idaho which has seen a 39% drop in Saudi students registered in March 2017 compared to March 2106.

The year on year decline in Saudi students is felt across all sectors with a 52% decline in Saudi students enrolled in Language programs compared to March 2016. The drops are more modest, but still evident at Bachelors and Masters Level. At the other end of the spectrum, there has been an increase in the number of Saudi Arabian students registered on Doctoral programs.

Table One: Saudi Arabian Students in the United States – March 2017, SEVIS

Iran

Iran, the second most populous country, and a major target in President Trump’s Executive orders shows where the US will be vulnerable. With almost 13,000 students registered in March 2017, this showed a healthy increase on the previous year. Iranian students are much less likely to be enrolled in language programs – with the largest cohort registered as doctoral or masters level students. Moreover the recent growth indicates Iranian students evenly distributed across the nation. Whether we will experience a decline in those numbers in the next release of data.
The recent growth in students from Iran and the concomitant decline in students from Saudi Arabia

Table Two: Iranian Students in the United States – March 2017, SEVIS

Explore the data for yourself – Our interactive graphic allows you to explore these data in more depth by state or by source country in the region. We have also collated these data for every world region and for each university. So please do contact us, if you would like to explore what this means for your school or home state.

Every year, INTO University Partnerships helps almost 14,000 students from 120 countries and territories around the world achieve their dream of studying overseas.

We work with individual students, universities and governments through a sophisticated, multi-channeled marketing operation, providing the highest quality student experience – the heart of our mission.

Our results speak for themselves. We have helped universities grow and then sustain their international student population at levels beyond their peers, often at multiples of national averages.

We have comprehensive data for every college and university in the US. Contact Frank Merendino frank.merendino@intoglobal.com to set up a meeting to discuss ways INTO Insights & Analytics can help you meet your campus internationalization goals.